Nicky Wire on bad jokes on Our Price servers and how easy the old have it.
According to the Whispers, the second single from 'This Is My Truth...' could have been either this elegant farewell to youth, or the way more anthemic 'Tsunami'. The choice, though it means that 'Tolerate' is succeeded by another ballad, at least chimes with the season: 'The Everlasting' looks set to be a December hit that replaces yuletide sentimentalism with snow-necked introspection.
The two new B-sides mercifully allow Bradders to reach for his les Paul and rock out. 'Black Holes For The Young' nicks its central riff from Bach's 'Toccata', muses on the desolation of city life ("Cappuccinos in the smog) and features a rather mannered cameo from Sophie Ellis Bextor. 'Valley Boy', meanwhile, is old B-side 'Mr Carbohydrate' taken for a weekend break: a paean to Nicky Wire's TV-soaked worldview set in Amsterdam. Next time; 'Watching Cricket On Satellite While Touring Mexico'
How did the song come to be written?
Basically, the intention was to write another 'Motorcycle Emptiness'. I'd been searching for the title for ages - 'The Universal' by Blur, The Eternal' by Joy Division...that kind of title. It sounds easy, but when I came up with 'The Everlasting' I was jumping up and down. I originally wanted to call the album that, so people would go in and say 'Can I buy the everlasting Manic Street preachers?' It's a song about yearning for something that's lost forever."
Can you explain 'The gap that grows between our lives/The gap our parents never had'?
"Well, I do worry about myself with this lyric - I don't know if I'm being a bit patronising. It just seems as if less choice for an older generation made life somewhat easier. It bothers me a bit - I'm sure people who lived through two World Wars had it ten times harder than us, but we seem a bit more divided"
There's also the bit that goes, "I don't believe in it any more/pathetic acts for a worthless cause". Is that a reference to Manics history?
"Yeah. Whether it was me with the Michael Stipe comment, or Richey cutting his arm up, it would have been much easier if we'd never done that at the same time, I still do believe that Richey cutting his arm was a great moment in rock 'n' roll history.'